Service Tax – Cestat Chennai: Taxes on land and building being an interpretational issue, appellant is eligible for waiver of of penalties – Appeal allowed [Order attached]
Order Date – 22 September 2023
Parties: Executive Officer, Karamadai Town Panchayat Vs Commissioner of GST & Central Excise
- The Appellant, Executive Officer, Karamadai Town Panchayat, is providing ‘Renting of Immovable Property Service’ has failed to pay service tax on the gross amounts collected from the clients for rendering the above service on the due date and have failed to file ST-3 returns.
- A Show Cause Notice dated 16.10.2012 was issued proposing demand of service tax with interest and imposition of penalties under the Finance Act, 1994 and recovery of late fee under Rule 7C of the Service Tax Rules, 1994 r/w sec. 70 of the Finance Act, 1994.
- The original authority confirmed the demand along with interest and imposed penalties.
- Whether the imposition of penalty and late fee are valid?
- The Tribunal observed that one of the issues involved in the appeal is whether "taxes on lands and buildings" in Entry 49, List II of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution contemplate a tax levied directly on the land as a unit having definite relationship with the land? In a case where the constitutional validity of the levy is yet to be decided the dispute is interpretational in nature.
- Hence there exists sufficient cause for the appellant not to have paid the tax due on time and there does not appear to have been any intention on their part to evade payment of duty. Hence, they are eligible for a waiver of penalties as per section 80 of the Finance Act 1994.
- The appeal is allowed on the said terms